Networks and IT Security
Sciences and Exploration Directorate - NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

GSFC Science and Engineering Network (SEN)

SEN Overview

The GSFC Science and Engineering Network (SEN) is a local, non-mission dedicated, high-end computer network with high- speed links to the Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX) regional GigaPOP and Internet2, NISN SIP (Internet) and NISN PIP (other NASA sites), EBnet, and the NCCS and NAS supercomputer facilities. It serves GSFC projects/users who have computer network performance requirements greater than those baselined for GSFC's general-use, campus-wide Center Network Environment (CNE).

The goal of the SEN is to provide a world class, constantly evolving, high performance local network environment for the NASA science community, with equally high performance wide area network (WAN) connectivity, and excellent customer service, while still providing equivalent security to that of the CNE at its WAN perimeter boundary. As part of the constant network evolution, the SEN is already preparing to upgrade its existing 10G/40G network infrastructure to 10G/40G/100G.

SEN Features

High-Speed Connectivity

  • 40 Gbps network backbone and redundant 10 Gbps Firewalls that support IPv4 and IPv6
  • Plans to upgrade Firewalls to 40 Gbps
  • All SEN switches and firewalls support jumbo frames for better network performance and reduced system load
  • 10 Gbps routed SEN to CNE connection - non-restricted (no firewall)
  • 10 Gbps connections to NISN SIP (Internet), NISN PIP (NASA sites), EBnet, and NCCS and NAS supercomputer facilities
  • 10 Gbps connection to MAX/Internet2
  • Potential high-speed access to other local, national and international sites via research relationships developed by the SEN team
  • SEN users offered 10 Gbps connections

SEN CustomerSupport and Services

  • Best effort support: on-call support outside prime time for emergencies
  • SEN team performs automated monitoring of key links, routers, switches, and environmental issues, and is notified of critical issues, and the team accepts direct emails, text messages and phone calls from users
  • The SEN team offers end-to-end assistance with troubleshooting network problems including connectivity and performance, and offers suggestions regarding purchasing hardware, choosing applications, and performance tuning, with an emphasis on cost effective solutions
  • SEN's staff expertise provides users direct access to senior engineers that have extensive knowledge regarding a wide range of system and network technologies, that can be brought to bear to rapidly solve customer problems

SEN Futures / Achievements

  • 40G and 100G, IPv6
    • Achieved a world record 91 Gbps disk-to-disk network data transfers across a national 100 Gbps wide area network at SuperComputing 2013 between a single pair of high performance RAID servers located at GSFC and Denver, CO
    • Prototyping 40G and 100G network technologies for eventual application to the SEN production network, including 40G firewalls, 40G/100G MAX/Internet2 connectivity, 100G SEN network backbone, and 40G customer network connections
    • While the SEN network is already fully IPv6 capable, will be working with SEN customers to enable IPv6 functionality on all client systems that access the public Internet